05 August 2008

Ctrl-Esc Brainstorming: To switch or not to switch ?

Yesterday one of the members of our Ctrl-Esc-Boys group Joy started a thread asking for suggestions and ideas for his dilemma to switch or not. Did he get any response ?.. obviously a lots. The 4 years of experience in software industry of our group members was evident in the response. After a long time we had a kind of career discussion thread. Here are some excerpts from the same.

Joy's Queries:
  • Today, I m planning to put my papers ( at last!!!!! ). Got offer from www.xyz.com. It's a product company. I have no idea about work cultures of such companies.
  • If you have any suggestions/ideas abt product companies, and also is it the right time to switch ??, and is it worth to switch from Service company to a product company?
Disclaimer: If have just pasted the responses from the thread. The intention here is that people outside our group know about this constructive discussion. Not to make sarcastic statements at a individual or an organization. So I have purposefully put the nicknames or codenames for a few people.

Bade's Response:
  • You being a talented guy shouldn't face any problem when it comes to sustaining in the new company, as you always exceed expectations!!! Even though the market is down, it is the media pulling the market further down that shouldn't be a problem.
  • Coming to your question of working culture, Working in product companies will be a great experience with respect to ownership but not with responsibilities and they are very slow when it comes to execution of plans and you might get exposure only to one or hardly 2 products, but in a service based company you get tremendous opportunity but no money.
  • You have to decide whether you need money or exposure, for me both are same as experiences always adds more weight to your profile. Think about your option once again and take a decision.

Yesh's Response:
  • Get the feedback from anyone who is already working in that company. What is the growth provided to the employees, remuneration package, appraisal etc.
  • It is always good to know abt the team that you are going into. What is the team size, how is the Manager etc. I know these are really difficult to get. But if you try you may get some information. Because most of the time it's the Manager who will decide what you are worth for , how much you deserve and all – I know its difficult to belevie but it is the fact and I suppose most of us have already experienced.
  • Last but not least – which is very much required .. Check how many girls are working in the company.

Rohith's Response:
  • @Bade: in my opinion, it not always true that service company provide more exposure than product companies. If you talk about exposure to software development, then I would say, its product companies that provides you to work from end-to-end of a product lifecycle.
  • The technology and its future - www.xyz.com looks to me a telecom company - mobile services. So, at this age of telecom, it is important to know if they have plans to evolve to 4G/Wimax technologies. This secures your future. (Luckily today, we have got lot of companies - lot of jobs. But you never know when the jobs in India will get dried up). So, as Yesh suggested, it is good to know on what product and with whom(customer, architects!) you would be working with.
  • Ofcourse salary. And no harm in switching job now. Market is going to be the same. We need to emerge out. But yes, take a calculated risk!

Then finally the response of the day came by Ritesh who was a software engineer for 3 years and from last year PGP student at IIMC.
  • Regarding service Vs product: It really doesn't matter as you will be sitting in one cubicle at the corner in a floor orkutting, gtalking , checking emails , hitting on girls & working in between. You will be assigned a part of a building software where u will be undoing the mistakes of the @ss who left the job creating a vacancy for you. So are you solving a product bug or a service bug ?
  • Regarding learning: People who wanted to learn hav done it in any field, any role and type of company, Ex: ABCD was the best tester in Lucent.. we all know .. He did justice to his job.
  • Regarding technology & future: Today we have reached a situation where we dont want to change our cells, computers and gizmos. partly because we have peaked out technologically for the present. How many upgraded to Vista ? have a 3G handset & own an iphone? . The truth is that technology is stagnating because of reducing demand for the incremental features.
  • Then what to do ? Join a smaller company - there you will be the coder,tester,manager, watchman .. everything .. that is the biggest learning you can get.. It really doesnt matter product or service..
  • Regarding pay: For your family, your job is a blackbox. you go in and out but at the end you get XXX Rupees with you. It really doesnt matter if you do job x or y for them. So earning is pretty important to keep you near and dear ones happy. So it is quite an important thing.
  • Knowledge, Exposure ? If someone tells me now that knowledge, exposure etc is important . think again .. In the past 4 yrs what is the major thing u contributed to the industry ? There are 2 kinds of people - Artists and businessmen. People who are satisfied with their work will not worry about money, they are artists cause they love what they do. Unfortunately all the artists are scripting open source code or are on sourceforge.net ( The site from where we copied our projects). The rest are businessmen selling their time to companies and cleansing code for a fixed sum of money. I have not seen a guy who is willingly working in the S/W industry.. it is a compromise as the money is good & we did a BE. It is just that we can do .. not we want to do .. I donno how many feel I am radical ( Or because i am not a S/w Engineer now) but these are my true thoughts.
  • Moral of the story: Joy ... go ahead... .. most things u did is after asking people around you. What do u really want to do ?
  • Another school of thought says that "Don't stay in a small tent when a storm is about to come" .. We are in a kind of a slowdown no doubt.. My friend PQRwas working in LMN, a startup.. Recently was laid off due to a bad market. He was working in VLSI .. had an MS .. but is unable to find a job since 2 months as VLSI market is pretty bad . No openings in sight as he told... So be ambitious but be careful too.

This is how the discussion went on. What are your thoughts on the responses?

[The image is from iQuit

1 comment:

  1. I am in totally agree with RITESH in most aspects.
    Black box described at its best.

    Man u r already selling u r ideas.
    Way to go....